Biography

The daughter of Austrian actress Gusti Huber, Bibi Besch has been a Hollywood fixture since 1977, and a TV regular since long before that. A versatile character actress with nary a trace of a European accent, Besch's film roles have ranged from Carol in Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Kahn (1979) to Belle in Steel Magnolias. Her television career has encompassed the daytime soaps The Edge of Night, The Secret Storm, Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, and Somerset, and the nighttime serials The Secrets of Midland Heights (1980) and The Hamptons (1983). Devotees of the late Northern Exposure will have vivid memories of Bibi for her Emmy-nominated portrayal of the mother of Maggie O'Connell (Janine Turner), who reacts to a mid-life crisis by accidentally burning her daughter's home to the ground. In real life, Bibi Besch is the far less inflammatory mother of actress Samantha Mathis. Besch died of cancer on September 7, 1996, in the home of her sister-in-law, Jenny Besch. The actress was 56. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi